Saturday, April 10, 2010

Even though they usually lose, most resist change

History shows that people who resist change usually lose. Progress overall tends to win even if the conservative wins occasionally. This is particularly true with the adoption of new technology. Perhaps people do not have the broad perspective to understand that change is inevitable. The vacuum cleaner makers who turned down James Dyson though that they could stop it as the bagless cleaner would require them to change their business model. I see time and time again that companies and many individuals will not even listen to new technology. The adoption curve tells us that there are very few people on the leading edge as "innovators," and while a larger number, early adopters are very much a minority. I suspect that the laggards and those who fight a strong rearguard action against new technology are actually afraid that it will "expose" them. New technology, which they do not know, means that they become vulnerable to charges of ignorance. This is actually the wrong way to tackle the problem. The only way to avoid being seen as ignorant is to be at least an early adopter. New technology will not go away, and if anyone tries to ignore it, someone else will adopt it and make the resistors look foolish, as others have GM with electric and hybrid cars.

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